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Beijing-Geneva flight expected to boost exchanges

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-08 05:45

GENEVA - With the first flight from Beijing to Geneva arriving at the Geneva International Airport at 18:22 (1622 GMT) Tuesday, more exchanges between the two cities and between China and Switzerland are expected.

The nonstop service, launched by Air China, one of China's largest airlines, will be operated four days per week with an Airbus A330-200.

It's a route having been planned for years, the Geneva Airport spokesman Bertrand Staempfli told Xinhua. It took another three years and a half before the airport and Air China launched the service.

"We believe the time is good now," Staempfli said.

Isabel Rochat, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Geneva Airport, said this line is of great importance in the diplomatic, political, economic and cultural development for the entire region.

She said Geneva is known as a hub for many international organizations and as China has been playing a more and more important role in international affairs, it attaches greater importance to the city, which led to the launch of the new route.

The new route will also help further boost the development of tourism, luxury industry, hotel industry and the finance sector of the Canton of Geneva, she said.

Geneva attracted some 575,000 Chinese tourists in 2012, a 30-percent increase over 2011, according to Rochat.

The airport has adapted the facilities and services for the new route. Staempfli said the airport employed Chinese-speaking staff to provide guidance for passengers if needed.

He said the airport's catchment area is well known for providing airlines with a very high-yield customer base, thanks to the unique concentration of international organisations and multinational corporations based in the region, which will also provide more business opportunities for trade and tourism industry in China.

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